Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You're Gonna Miss This

As mentioned in the previous post, I soaked up quite a bit of country music on my road trip today. Don't worry, people, this isn't a new trend for me. I still normally prefer the more alternative tunes, but if I'm driving through farmland and small towns that only have one redlight and a gas station with no credit card reader then George Strait seems a little more appropriate.

One issue I have with country music is how before I know it I am crying like a baby. I like to blame it on the pregnancy, but the truth is that this has always happened. Taylor Swift sings about being 15, and it's like she ripped out a page of my old pink diary. Keith Urban sings about a man losing his wife to cancer or a song reminding him of a deceased young friend, and I can't wipe my eyes fast enough. So by the time Trace Adkins sang about a daughter wishing away the best days of her life, I had zero mascara left on my lashes . . .

You're gonna miss this,
you're gonna want this back,
you're gonna wish these days
hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times,
so take a good look around.
You may not know this now,
but you're gonna miss this.

What I really want to hold on to right now is Mimi's stage in life. She's so funny and sweet and silly and bad all at the same time, and I want to hold on to every little piece of it. I want to hold on to how she depends on us for so much. That she wakes up every morning saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Up! Daddy! Mommy!" and that "up" actually means get me out or put me down. That this morning I heard her cackling in her crib and saying, "Spike! Ru Ru! He he he" because she heard the dogs barking. That she knows what a Baskin Robbins is and says "I Cweam!" every time she sees one.

That she is trying so hard to sing now and makes up words. "Sammy Days . . . . a-waaay . . . . . meeeet . . . . . Se-ame Stweet!" I have to remember that she claps her hands and says "Bah!" and not "Yay" at the end of every song. That she screams out her ABC's at random times and gets at least half of them right, but I have to remember that my favorite part is when she says, "L a-baba P!"

I want to remember that her best friends are Emerson and Hadley, and she gets very sad and upset when either has to leave her, but she LOVES to play Ring Around the Rosies with them and yells "Ash-y, ash-y, all fall down! That she does a pretty cute fish impression and showed it to the butcher at Whole Foods. That she will sling her felt Easter bag over her shoulder, grab my finger, and say, "Come on, Mommy, let's go!" I also have to remember that she loves to grab my finger and pull me everywhere . . .little Miss Bossy Pants.

I want to hold on to the way she has sad times and wants to lay her fuzzy head on my chest and suck her fingers while clinging her baby. To our ritual of snuggling on the couch while watching Sesame Street when we get home every day and Clifford before bedtime (or Pippord as she calls him). How she doesn't argue with me about what she wears but is very picky about the order of how she eats her food . . . and the funny faces she makes as she crams food in her mouth.I want to remember that she is just starting to pretend to feed her baby doll and wash her hands in her kitchen and make soup for her daddy to try. That she likes to turn up an old travel coffee cup we let her play with and exclaim, "Mmm, good coppee. Yummy!" That she flips over on her belly in the tub and says, "I swimming," and then splashes water all over me. That she gets really excited when she hears a train or sees an airplane. That I accidentally taught her how to say, "Oh, crap." Well, it came out more like, "Oh, cwap." That when I put her new red sandals on her that she was so happy and yelled, "Oh, shoes!," . . . and then she cried on the playground when she couldn't walk for so many rocks being stuck in those red sandals. That she calls barns and farm animals "EIEIO's."
I want to hold on to this time where she still thinks Mommy and Daddy are the greatest. Where we can take away all her worries with a tight hug, and she quickly forgets bumping her head or falling down. It is going by too fast . . .

Travel Notes

Once a month I must reach out to my GI offices in Kentucky, which requires an overnight stay in Paducah. Since I've been doing this for almost five years -- and have been complaining like a brat for almost five years -- I decided today will be the day to lose the bad attitude and take my own advice. I choose to work and send my child to preschool, so I better make the most of every single second. The reason I say "take my own advice" is that I have heard more than normal complaining lately, and I have chosen to not let it get me down. Instead I have been trying my best to build up other coworkers, my spouse, and my friends and talk them into letting go of the negativity . . . but I digress.

As I tried to book my regular room in Paducah, I discovered the hotel was booked solid . . . along with every other hotel in the area. I called and found out this is the week of the famous Quilting Show (I'm sure you've all been looking forward to it), and the entire city of Paducah is engulfed in grannies in appliqued cat sweaters. So I decided Murray might be a good alternative. I've never stayed there, and it appears to be a neat little college town. No worries.

After a very long day of zig-zagging across west Tennessee and listening to country music and annoying discussions about 4/20 and legalizing weed (I mean, who even has time to smoke weed? It seems like such a hassle), I finally arrived in Murray at the Holiday Inn. I had booked my normal room -- 2 queen beds. The two beds are extremely important; one bed to sleep on and the other to eat on. I used to eat at a good Italian restaurant in Paducah, but I always felt like they pitied me because I was eating by myself. I have zero problem eating by myself because I usually surf the web, but I don't want to make others uncomfortable. So now my routine consists of ordering take-out, putting on pjs and my hair in a ponytail on top of my head, and watching too much TV. I plan my trips on Tuesdays so I can watch American Idol and Lost, and in Kentucky Oprah is shown at 9:00 PM. Oh, goody!

So I organized my things in the room (step 1), finished up my work (step 2), and then proceeded to open the curtains to let in the sunshine (step 3) . . . only to find a trailer park. And we're not talking the clean senior citizen kind like one might find in California. Oh no. We're talking My Name is Earl with random auto parts, children's broken toys, aluminum foil in the windows, and waaaay too close for my comfort. Close curtains (my new step 4).

The guy downstairs suggested I order sushi from a local Japanese restaurant, and my sister actually recommended the same place today. Decision made. I discovered this restaurant was in the same strip mall as a Check into Cash AND a Big Lots, but I didn't let that scare me. A man in the elevator in the hotel was smiling when he saw my bag of sushi, and he asked, "Gourmet meal?" I told him my only other option was Captain D's, and he agreed I made the best decision.

As soon as I had on the pjs and hair Pebbles-style, I searched the TV for Lost. I passed the stars dancing, the crying fat people show, and even the Catholic channel with a nun reciting scripture, but no Lost. Then I realized it was 7:00 and Lost doesn't come on until 8:00 -- whew. So I tuned to American Idol and muted about half of it. Tim, it's time to go. Little skinny guy, that flying song is soo high school talent show. Ponytail cowboy, I would never buy your cd. I LOVE that Lee sang Simon and Garfunkel, but seriously, can we just cut the crap and give Crystal the Ford Focus?

I love that when I opened my bag o' sushi I discovered the waitress put in enough soy sauce and chopsticks for 3 people. I guess she assumed there's no reason for a person my size to order that much food, but maybe she failed to see the bump emerging from my shirt. As I bit into a roll the size of my head (deep-fried, no doubt), I realized something was terribly wrong. Thorough inspection led me to discover the chef had substituted jalepeno for avocado. Since this is Kentucky, I guess he thought I wouldn't know the difference. But I have news for him . . . I'm from Mississippi:)

Now that I have killed a good amount of time, I will shut up and watch Lost. I'm really sorry that there are no photos of Mimi in something pink, but maybe I'll get to it during Oprah. As for now, I'm going to take advantage of the cushy bed that I do not have to make up in the morning and the pillows actually labeled "soft" and "firm." I'm going to enjoy not cleaning up after myself and not feeling the need to unload the dishwasher or pick up Disney Princess teacups or half-eaten crayons. I'm going to sleep a little later than normal and not rush to get my shower and clothes ironed before a little fuzzy-headed blonde yells, "Mommy, up!" Will I miss Miss Fuzzy Head? You better believe it, but I'm going to let Clint enjoy his special time with her and let me enjoy the view of the trailer park.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Little Less Talk . . .

I had a million and ten things I wanted to write about this time, but it's taken me too long to collect my thoughts. With that being said, here are lots and lots of photos and not a lot of jibber jabber . . .
The Easter basket . . . but the fake grass seems much more interesting than the loot. My sister's family has begun the tradition of spending Easter Sunday with us in Memphis, and these are her funny kiddos Courtney and Nick.

I finally made something that isn't pink for baby Connor! And, yes, the name is 99% official -- Connor Wilson Darby. "Wilson" is my mother's maiden name and Connor, well, it just sounds right.
While I'm on the subject of sewing, I made a fun crayon apron for Mimi's friend Hadley for her big 2nd birthday. She looked like such a mommy wearing an apron!

And this is my favorite outfit I've made for Mimi. Thankfully it will be too hot for ruffle pants soon, which will force me to make something else. Don't you worry -- I have plans.

I L-O-V-E little girls! Mimi is starting to actually play with not just around other children now, and it's so funny watching her figure out the whole social thing. Our friends Emeri and Brad watched Mimi recently and took adorable photos of these sweet little girls. Well, sweet sometimes. Emerson likes to "box out" when Mimi is in her way, and Mimi is very good at pushing and stealing toys . . . silly little things. At least here they were sharing a moment of peace while eating cookies and watching the Wiggles.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Death to the Tomato

Remember my super-long list of sewing ideas and my sudden passion for all things creative? There's a problem already. I. HAVE. NO. TIME. and this really irks me to no end. I have purchased pretty fabric and have great tools, but I can't sit down to do anything until 9:30 at night. And 10:00 is bedtime for a pregnant person who has to go to work the following day.

This all hit me in the middle of last week when I was sitting at the table during dinner, which was probably take-out because I also cannot seem to find the time to go to the grocery store. I was looking over at the sewing machine and fabric and trying to decide what I might have time to make that night. And then I saw it. That ugly little tomato. I can remember my mom having one when I was a little girl, and I always wanted to play with it so badly. When she got up from her sewing to answer the phone one day, I realized this was my chance. I reached my little hand up to the table where it was nesting and gripped it tight. Ewwww . . . not a good idea. So a pincushion contains pins, hu? Who would've ever guessed? And from that day on I have HATED that stupid blood-red tomato with the little strawberry dingleberry hanging off the top.

I only had a limited amount of time to plot the murder of this ugly yet still necessary pin cushion. Mimi was about to go to bed, and then I still had about 20 other things to do before I could do the same. I thought fast and worked diligently, and this is how I defeated the fruit:

Ta Da! The happy little pincushion. It is so cute yet useful, and I didn't actually have to murder the tomato -- I just covered it up so I could never ever see it again. And I am sad to say that this is the last thing I have created while my list continues to grow. I actually had a friend e-mail recently after seeing something I made for Mimi and asked me how much I would charge her for pants and an A-line top. Well, at least $2,000 to pay for my time and stress! Ha! Really, hopefully it won't be much longer until I can somehow squeeze in a few projects because I will be faster . . . we'll see.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


. . . a boy is truth with dirt on its face, beauty with a cut on its finger, wisdom with bubblegum in its hair, and the hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.
-Alan Marshall Beck

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!! Intuition isn't what I'm known for -- I never have "good" or "bad" feelings about anything, I can't predict the weather while standing outside -- but I KNEW this baby would be a boy! And I couldn't be more excited!!

We had the ultrasound on Tuesday, and all is well -- two hands, two feet, a heart with four chambers, a bladder, a heartrate of 160, and the cutest little profile I've ever seen. He's got Clint's precious little nose -- I LOVE it!

I couldn't wait to tell Mimi when I picked her up at school, and what did she do? She cocked her little blonde head to the side and ran to play in the rocks. Just what I expected!

Our parents are ecstatic -- now if I can just get my father to stop calling him "Bubba" . . .

And as for names, we're still letting the idea of a boy marinate. We need to practice saying his name -- pretend we are cheering for him at a t-ball game, pretend Mimi is calling him to play with her, pretend we are scolding him for breaking an expensive vase and spreading the dirt all over the floor . . .

Ah, the idea of a little boy is absolutely amazing . . . a dirty face, rocks in his pocket, cowboys and Indians, fishing with Daddy, toy trucks and Thomas the Train . . . I am so stoked with all the possibilities. I loved playing with Jay Shipp's cool boy toys when I was a little girl, so Mimi has no idea how much fun this will be for her (and maybe for me, too. I love racetracks!).

And Clint . . . oh my goodness, where to begin? I tear up thinking about what a wonderful Dad he will be to a little boy. Mimi has been great practice for him. God totally knew what he was doing by giving us a silly little girl first. I'll never forget finally getting to take a shower one night when Mimi was a newborn (after several days of not taking one!). I had just let the water run through my hair when Clint whipped back the curtain clueless and frustrated and said, "She's crying. I don't know what to do. Can you kinda hurry?" And then he admitted that he might get better as the baby gets older but he just didn't get infants.

Sigh. I didn't get too mad because I knew he was right. He would get better -- he HAD to get better because Lord knows I couldn't do it on my own. Clint possesses traits I do not -- organization, financial responsibility, level-headedness, quick decision-making -- I needed him to get this father thing down, and luckily he did. He can also do other things I can't like throw Mimi over the back of the couch without hurting her and make her cackle for ten minutes. He can feed her cereal getting her completely drenched in milk and not care one bit that her smocked outfit will have to be changed and stain-treated. He will let her dig her little fingers deep in the dirt and then smush it in her hair while not stopping her. He lets Mimi be Mimi so she knows that she is smart and her opinions do matter. I chase her around with baby wipes and take crayons away from her when she colors on the dishwasher. This little boy needs Clint Darby to be his father so he will know that he is good enough. And I kinda think Clint needs him for the same reason . . .